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Coast Cafe Cambridge

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BostonCharles Jan 6, 2009 11:41 PM

Really good southern hole in the wall in Central Square. Mainly fried foods, with some caribbean touches (also fried). They put their heart into it and it shows.

Mainly a local take out place, only 3 seats at a counter. Consistently good southern food made from scratch. I even had the sweet potato pie and liked it, and I hate the very idea of sweet potato pie.

Very inexpensive, as one might guess.

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  1. Luther RE: BostonCharles Jan 7, 2009 03:11 AM

    Isn't a fried chicken plate over $10? I always felt the place was more expensive than the tiny-takeout-hole appearance and casual food quality justified.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Luther
      jgg13 RE: Luther Jan 7, 2009 09:33 AM

      I think it has crossed the $10 threshold. I've been getting the smothered chop plate recently which I think is up to 12-13$. It isn't as frequent of a spot for me just because the prices are starting to creep up and become more of a 'treat' for me than anything else.

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      autopi RE: BostonCharles Jan 7, 2009 04:34 AM

      tried it once on the strength of recs from the board. didn't care for the fried chicken (over done, to my taste), and the biscuits definitely tasted as if they were from a box. a bit artificial tasting, as i recall. don't recall them being particularly inexpensive, but it's been awhile.

      3 Replies
      1. re: autopi
        yumyum RE: autopi Jan 7, 2009 05:56 AM

        I'm with you autopi -- I thought the chicken was burnt-tasting and sort of expensive for a counter chicken joint.

        However, I like to drop in for a meat patty if I'm in the neighborhood. They keep them in the hot case by the register.

        1. re: yumyum
          Luther RE: yumyum Jan 7, 2009 06:13 AM

          Definitely burnt-tasting.

        2. re: autopi
          jgg13 RE: autopi Jan 7, 2009 09:34 AM

          The cornbread isn't very good, that's for sure. Which isn't to say that it's bad, it just is kinda meh.

          I personally like their chicken, but I've always preferred the sort of "crisped up from the bottom of a cast iron pan" type of chicken as opposed to deep fried chicken

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          dikaryon RE: BostonCharles Jan 7, 2009 12:11 PM

          CC is in my neighborhood, and thus our go-to place for some good chow. But here is the deal with them: they close early (9PM), and if you place an order near to the closing hour, you will get burnt/overcooked chicken, guaranteed. I don't know if its because they keep some precooked stuff on hand to double cook in a pinch, or because the oil is just worn out by then, but it's a real drag to get home to find it that way, especially since they'll be closed by then, so there's no complaining. On the other hand, if you order mid-day, or at 7PM, it is superlative fried chicken, as good as it gets.

          6 Replies
          1. re: dikaryon
            Luther RE: dikaryon Jan 7, 2009 01:25 PM

            I've gone around 1pm on a weekend and gotten burnt chicken.

            1. re: dikaryon
              Bob Dobalina RE: dikaryon Jan 7, 2009 01:28 PM

              Thanks for the tip - I have never had what I considered to be burnt chicken on maybe a total of six visits lifetime.

              1. re: dikaryon
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                BostonCharles RE: dikaryon Jan 7, 2009 08:15 PM

                Haven't had burnt chicken there, but could see how it could happen. A word to the chef in advance maybe?

                I searched on the board for posts about it, but oddly none came up

                1. re: BostonCharles
                  yumyum RE: BostonCharles Jan 8, 2009 05:07 AM

                  As in "chef, please don't burn my chicken"? I don't think so. I don't think it's actually burnt, it simply tastes burnt to me. I'm glad that others enjoy it.

                  Search results are limited to a year and I'm sure it's been longer than that since we've talked much about Coast, although it does come up in the Fried Chicken threads.

                  1. re: yumyum
                    Aromatherapy RE: yumyum Jan 8, 2009 05:13 AM

                    Search results aren't limited. Search by relevance, not date, and a number of posts from 2004-06 come up.

                    1. re: yumyum
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                      bear RE: yumyum Jan 8, 2009 02:20 PM

                      Also, once you enter your search term and the results come up, you can change the number of years to get older results.

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                  BackBayGirl RE: BostonCharles Jan 8, 2009 08:11 AM

                  I personally love the Coast Cafe. I've never gotten burned chicken before there and it's always been moist and juicy when I've had it. I love the collard greens too. They definitely make a different style of fried chicken---it's more of a breadcrumb type than a buttermilk batter type at least from what I've had.

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: BackBayGirl
                    jgg13 RE: BackBayGirl Jan 8, 2009 08:39 AM

                    I'm actually curious about the "burned chicken" folks. Are they talking blackened? Or are they talking about the scorching in spots that happens from sitting on the bottom of the pan?

                    The latter is a Good Thing, the former a Bad Thing.

                    1. re: jgg13
                      Johnresa RE: jgg13 Jan 8, 2009 11:35 AM

                      When I went the chicken was not visibly burnt. It looked great but tasted scorched.

                      1. re: jgg13
                        yumyum RE: jgg13 Jan 8, 2009 11:38 AM

                        I've said "burnt-tasting" not "burnt-looking". No visible scorch marks, just a bitter burnt taste. Like, um, burnt fried chicken.

                        1. re: yumyum
                          Dax RE: yumyum Jan 8, 2009 01:27 PM

                          Like old oil or the oil hadn't been strained in a while which means the crusty pieces keep getting more and more burned, infusing the oil with the burned flavor, which of course ruins the taste of anything fried in it. I had that happen at Coast once. It was also really bland once.

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                      9lives RE: BostonCharles Jan 8, 2009 11:49 AM

                      I've been a few times and while I like the feel of the place, I also thought it had that slightly burnt taste that many have mentioned. Liked the sides.

                      Hen House Wing's/Waffles on Mass Ave had better fried chicken imo.

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                        burny carbo RE: BostonCharles Jan 8, 2009 12:04 PM

                        I like the fried chicken. The fact that you have to wait while it cooks provides the perfect opportunity to eat a few meat patties!

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: burny carbo
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                          BostonCharles RE: burny carbo Jan 20, 2009 11:13 PM

                          I REALLY liked the meat patties. And I've eaten many a meat patty in my time. They are more empanadilla style than jamaican style to my mind.

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